BY MARIA LUISA SALCINES
We celebrated our nation’s independence on Wednesday, but I wonder how many of us stopped to think about what it means to be an American.
I have never experienced a time when the current political climate was so negative.
Adults from all occupations and political parties have been acting like bullies on the playground. It is almost impossible for there to be a calm and rational conversation between two people with differing views.
However, there is no better place on Earth than the United States of America.
As a Cuban immigrant, I value and appreciate this country. It is a privilege to live here and one I do not take for granted.
The United States stands for hope. It is a country where we are free to be, free to choose and free to voice our opinions, which makes this country great.
When you don’t respect the flag or your president, however, you are dividing the nation.
Disagree all you want, but do so respectfully, because your actions are the example you set for the next generation.
If we are going to fix the problems facing the country, we are going to have to sit down and listen to each other without insults.
We need to be “A Purple Nation” as Maria Shriver wrote in her article “I’ve Been Thinking,” which recently appeared in her e-newsletter.
She believes that we are a great nation and that we are not just red or blue. We are a mix of the two — red and blue combined makes purple.
We have more in common than the issues that separate us, and we should not allow our political parties to drive a wedge between us.
What I love most about this country is the diversity, the courage of the American people and the compassion Americans have for others.
There are solutions to our problems but with no civility, we will never solve anything.
Like Maria Shriver, I am praying for a “Purple Nation” because I know that we can be better and stronger if we are united.
This quote from Peter Marshall sums it up best: “May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.”
Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer and a certified parent educator with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter @PowerOfFamily and on Instagram @mlsalcines. You can also contact her on her blog, FamilyLifeandFindingHappy.com.